The Master of Accountancy Business Core
and The Marketplace
Bruce K. Behn
The University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee Master of Accountancy (MAcc) business core consists of a four-day orientation and two 3-hour classes, one course taken each semester. Although these courses are considered separate for University purposes, they should be viewed as a continuous sequence. Throughout the fall semester and the first part of the spring semester the students undertake a variety of active learning exercises, within a team-based environment, designed to demonstrate the "cutting edge" business approaches. Students are exposed to the assessment and delivery of customer value, continuous system improvement, statistical process control, human resource management, the role of quality in competitive organizations, performance measurement, and overall corporate strategy. In the spring semester, the business core culminates with a very intensive business simulation, the Marketplace. The focus of this computer business simulation is to place the students in a very realistic business setting where the students run a company for two years in compressed time using the skills developed in the business core. All of this material is taught by award winning UT faculty and business leaders in an integrated fashion exposing accounting students to cutting edge business approaches, ideas and strategies.
The objectives of the business core are two-fold. First, the business core (and its activities) are designed to help the students think "out of the box" and to become better business advisors. Second, this class helps students gain a better understanding of the "big business picture" and how accounting information can assist management in these important business endeavors. Businesses are requiring accounting students to provide value-added services beyond traditional accounting needs and the business core assists in this development.
In addition to these business skills, the business core emphasizes the personal growth of the students as well as the development of their teamwork skills. Students participate in a number of team building exercises, synthesis projects, and oral presentations. Students also receive personal coaching by participating in assessment exercises, individual presentation and interviewing coaching, and individual writing assistance. Business leaders have consistently expressed that communication skills are the most important factor in a student's success and the business core helps develop these skills.
Corresponding Web Sites
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